Conference Speakers

MAsencioProfilePic-Web-SmMiguel Asencio, Program Director, Digital Library of the Caribbean, Florida International University

Miguel Asencio is the Director of Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC) at Florida International University (FIU).  He oversees a cooperative of more than forty partners within the Caribbean and circum-Caribbean which provides users with access to caribbean cultural, historical and research materials held in archives, libraries, and private collections which has received over 65 million views since 2006 (  In 2011, he proposed the creation of a collaborative digitization lab at FIU, which was supported by grants and institutional awards in excess of $1 million in funding.  He has an MS in Curriculum and Instruction: Learning Technologies from Florida International University and is currently pursuing a Ph. D in Learning Technologies with an interest in digital resources and accessibility for education research using information and communications technology. Mr. Asencio is a frequent speaker on topics related to international collaborative projects, digitization of archival and research materials, digital projects, workflow management, classroom technology implementation, collaborative digital resources platforms, and digital imaging quality control assessments and standards implementations.

Thomas F. R. Clareson, Senior Consultant for Digital & Preservation Services, LYRASIS

In his current capacity for LYRASIS, Tom Clareson consults nationally and internationally on preservation, digitization, special collections/archives, remote storage, funding, and advocacy issues.  He has served as a lead consultant on seventeen IMLS “Connecting to Collections” statewide preservation planning grants, and six implementation grant programs.  He has also served as co-leader of the “Digital Futures” five-day workshop series, sponsored by King’s College London in the U.K. and Australia.
Clareson joined PALINET (which became LYRASIS in 2009 when PALINET, SOLINET, and NELINET merged to form a new organization) in 2005, where he led PALINET’s digital collections creation and management services, preservation services, and consulting activities, and was responsible for establishing new services and funding sources, grant writing, and outreach to the museum and historical society communities.
In 2014, Clareson was selected as the recipient of the George Cunha and Susan Swartzburg Award from the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS), a division of the American Library Association (ALA).  The award recognizes the recipient’s career work in cooperative/collaborative preservation initiatives.

Chelsea Dinsmore, Director Digital Production and Services, University of Florida Libraries

After serving as the International Documents librarian at the University of Florida Libraries for 10 years, Chelsea Dinsmore became the Curator for Digital Collections and head of the Digital Production Services in 2014. Since 2009, she has organized and managed a number of digital projects within the government documents community, including the creation of regional federal depository Centers of Excellence (COE) for the Panama Canal and the National Recovery Administration collections. She is currently involved in research to improve the accessibility of digital collections. Ms. Dinsmore holds an MLIS from the University of Texas at Austin and an MA in History from the University of Florida.

Amy HunsakerAmy J. Hunsaker, Digital Initiatives Librarian at the University of Nevada, Reno

Amy J. Hunsaker is the Digital Initiatives Librarian at the University of Nevada, Reno where she provides leadership in the development and management of digital collections in collaboration with other Library and University departments. Amy lives in Reno because she loves the region and its vibrant history, and she believes that UNR’s holdings are important assets to the State of Nevada and to researchers of Western United States’ history.

Aisha JohnsonAisha M. Johnson-Jones, Ph.D., Head of Special Collections and Archives, Thomas G. Carpenter Library, University of North Florida

Aisha Johnson-Jones is the Head of Special Collections and Archives for UNF’s Thomas G. Carpenter Library. Aisha holds a Masters and Doctorate degree in Library and Information Studies from Florida State University. Dr. Johnson-Jones turned her love for libraries into a career in 2006 and later entered the world of Special Collections and Archives via an internship with FSU’s Heritage Protocol in 2010. Since joining the UNF library, fall 2014, she has acquired more than 17 collections as well as materials supplemental to existing collections and the university archives.

Brandy Karl, Copyright Officer, Pennsylvania State University

Brandy Karl advises the Pennsylvania State University Libraries on national and international copyright matters and helps to craft policies to provide the fullest possible access to the Libraries’ collections. Serving as an expert in the University community for copyright, fair use, Teach Act, and other related issues, she supports the University’s mission through outreach, education, and consultation programs that help students and faculty understand how copyright and related concepts affect their work, as well as how they can make informed decisions in the use and creation of copyrighted works. She serves as a resource for the Libraries’ growing programs of digitization, research data curation and digital scholarship.
Ms. Karl previously served as a fellow at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society and Fair Use Project. She holds an S.B. in Political Science from MIT, a JD from Boston University School of Law, and an LLM from Georgetown University Law Center.  She is also a proud graduate of Rutherford High School in Panama City, FL.

Katie McCormick, Associate Dean of Libraries for Special Collections & Archives, Florida State University Libraries

Katie McCormick is the Associate Dean of Libraries for Special Collections & Archives at The Florida State University. In this capacity she manages the rare book, manuscript, and archival collections of FSU as well as their cataloging and digitization. She has served as the co-chair of the Florida Virtual Campus Digital Initiatives Subcommittee and as a member of the Florida Statewide Digital Action Plan Steering Committee. She previously served on the advisory board for North Carolina Exploring Cultural Heritage Online (NC ECHO). Her professional interests include community engagement, digital access, preservation, audio/visual archiving, and teaching. She holds an M.L.I.S. Simmons College, and a M.A. in English, with a focus in Irish Literature and Culture, from Boston College.

Mike Meth-FINALMichael Meth, Associate Dean, Research and Learning Services, Florida State University Libraries

Michael Meth is the Associate Dean, Research and Learning Services at the Florida State University Libraries. Until August 2015, Michael was the Director of the OISE Library at the University of Toronto (UofT). Prior to his position at OISE he was the Director of the Li Koon Chun Finance Learning Centre, University of Toronto Mississauga Library. In 2014, Michael was selected as a Senior Fellow at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies and in 2013 participated in Harvard’s Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians.  He has a Master of Information Studies from the Faculty of Information Studies (UofT) and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the Schulich School of Business, York University.

Robert Miller Keynote SpeakerRobert Miller, Chief Executive Officer, LYRASIS

Robert Miller came to LYRASIS from the Internet Archives where he was General Manager of Digital Libraries, a top 250 global web site. There he built the Internet Archive’s eBooks and multi-eFormat digitization program. The vision he championed has resulted in one of the largest free, digital public libraries in the world with over 2.5 million eBooks online, 1,000+ archives, museums and libraries supplying content with teams on 5 continents and over 300 million user downloads per year.   Prior to the Internet Archive, he was CEO of an Internet Search startup company. He has lectured widely and is a passionate advocate (and pioneer) for public Internet access, a` supporter of archives, museums and libraries and is committed to making information free and accessible through digital means. In his present capacity, Robert has three main roles:

  • Building and growing successful relationships between  communities of archives, museums and libraries (AML); funding partners, and technology partners,
  • Evangelizing both inside and outside the AML’s to not only move items from non-digital to digital, but to increase the citizen use and scholarly access to this rich content,
  • Building and leading his global teams to offer superior, relevant and cost-effective services, products and support to all AML’s!

Vanessa NavarroVanessa Navarro, Director and Folklife Specialist, Miami History Museum

Vanessa Navarro directs HistoryMiami’s South Florida Folklife Center and serves as the museum’s Folklife Specialist. She conducts and oversees fieldwork and collecting projects and curates exhibitions in the museum’s Folklife Gallery. She also develops educational programs, creates media products about local folklife, and manages the South Florida Folklife Archival Collection. Vanessa served as an AmeriCorps Public Ally at the University of Miami and was the Service and Engagement Coordinator for the Butler Center for Service and Leadership and the Office of Civic and Community Engagement. She was a Researcher with The Pluralism Project at Harvard University, and her research interests include music and religious ritual, trance and spirit possession, and Afro-Caribbean religions and music. Vanessa studied Anthropology at the University of Florida and Ethnomusicology at Florida State University and trained at the City Lore Documentary Institute.

Lee Rainie Keynote SpeakerLee Rainie, Director Internet, Science, and Technology Research at the Pew Research Center

Lee Rainie is the director of internet, science and technology research at Pew Research Center. Under his leadership, the Center has issued more than 500 reports based on its surveys that examine people’s online activities and the internet’s role in their lives. He also directs the Center’s new initiative on the intersection of science and society. The American Sociological Association gave Rainie its award for “excellence in the reporting on social issues” in 2014 and described his work as the “most authoritative source of reliable data on the use and impact of the internet and mobile connectivity.”
Rainie is a co-author of Networked: The new social operating system and five books about the future of the internet that are drawn from the Center’s research. He gives several dozen speeches a year to government officials, media leaders, scholars and students, technology executives, librarians, and nonprofit groups about the changing media ecosystem. He is also regularly interviewed by major news organizations about technology trends.
Prior to launching Pew Research Center’s technology research, Rainie was managing editor of U.S. News & World Report. He is a graduate of Harvard University and has a master’s degree in political science from Long Island University.

John SarnowskiJohn Sarnowski, Director, The ResCarta Foundation

John Sarnowski is a director of the not for profit ResCarta Foundation and has over 25 years’ experience in building digital collections. He was responsible for creating millions of digital objects for learned societies, libraries and major corporations as the director of Imaging Products at Northern Micrographics. Projects included “The Making of America”, JSTOR, and Historic Pittsburgh. He is a member of WLA and IS&T.

Karen SnowKaren Snow, Ph.D., Assistant Professor & Ph.D. Program Director, Graduate School of Library & Information Science,  Dominican University

Karen Snow is an Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Library & Information Science at Dominican University in River Forest, IL.  She worked as a cataloger in the Rare Book Room, University Archives, and the Technical Services departments at the University of North Texas.  While completing her Ph.D. in Information Science at the University of North Texas, she taught cataloging courses primarily online from 2006 until 2011 for the Department of Library & Information Sciences.  She currently teaches cataloging and metadata courses at Dominican University, both face-to-face and online.

Laurie-Taylor-FINALLaurie N. Taylor, Ph.D., Digital Scholarship Librarian, University of Florida

Laurie N. Taylor, Ph.D., is the Digital Scholarship Librarian at the University of Florida. Her work focuses on data/digital curation, digital scholarship, and developing socio-technical supports (people, policies, technologies, communities) for scholarly cyberinfrastructure. This includes work to develop, sustain, and integrate digital scholarship and data curation across communities, and by fostering an environment of radical collaboration made possible in the digital age or the age of Big Data. She works heavily with the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC), University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC), UF Research Computing, and the Open Source SobekCM software and tools. She is the Digital Scholarship Director for the international collaborative Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC) and a founding Steering Committee Member for the Florida Digital Humanities Consortium (FLDH).

Krystal_Thomas-Headshot-FINALKrystal Thomas, Digital Archivist, Strozier Library, Florida State University

Krystal Thomas is the Digital Archivist at Florida State University Libraries under Special Collections & Archives. She was active in the development and migration into the FSU Digital Library and works as one of its primary managers as well as continuing to participate in the Florida Islandora development project. Her work is a mix of digital project creation and management, supervision of the Digital Library Center and acting as a consultant for digital archiving projects on campus. Thomas holds a MSI from the University of Michigan and a BA from Gettysburg College.

Melissa Minds VandeBurgt, Head of Archives, Special Collections, and Digital Initiatives, Florida Gulf Coast University

Melissa Minds VandeBurgt holds a Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, with additional certification in rare books. She is currently the Head of Archives, Special Collections, & Digital Initiatives at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) in Fort Myers, Florida. Before beginning her tenure at FGCU in 2012, she spent seven years developing Digital Services at California State University, Channel Islands’ Broome Library. Melissa has been brought on at FGCU to develop the digital initiatives division, implementing a common digital library platform, institutional repository, and an electronic theses and dissertations program. She also manages and develops the University Archives and Special Collections, with a focus on collection, preservation, and global accessibility through the DigitalFGCU repository.